BBC presenter and cycle commuter Jeremy Vine has called out fellow presenter Jeremy Clarkson over a newspaper column in which the latter criticised a mother he had seen accompanying her children to school in Kensington.
In response to Clarkson’s assertion that “cycling in London is extremely dangerous,” Vine countered: “No, some people who drive cars are extremely dangerous. That is the issue.”
Writing in his column in The Sun on Saturday (link is external) under the heading, Let Vine Be Bike Battler, Clarkson said:
This week, I saw a school-run mum cycling through the busy streets of Kensington in London with her two young children riding their little bikes in her wake.
Now, I’m sure that later in the day at the avocado and muesli bar, all her silly friends will have congratulated her for being so ecological and public spirited.
But the fact is that cycling in London is extremely dangerous and that one day, God forbid, it’s possible one of her children could be killed.
Yes, there’d be an outcry and the motorist who ran over the child would get some serious jail time.
But the child would still be dead.
So, if you’re reading this, love, and I know you’re not because you’re a Guardian type, but if you are, don’t use your kids as pawns in a battle Jeremy Vine is quite capable of fighting for himself.
So far, so Clarkson, in line with the anti-cyclist rhetoric he has so often employed both in print and while presenting Top Gear and, more recently, The Grand Tour.
But the TV host and journalist, who has a home in Holland Park, has been spotted at times cycling around Kensington – most notably in the wake of his sacking by the BBC in 2015.
And going by the way he sang the praises of Copenhagen in a column in The Sunday Times three years earlier in which he said that prioritising bikes over cars made it such a liveable city that he would move there “in a heartbeat,” he presumably understands the value of protected cycling infrastructure.